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U. Alabama’s Play Productions All Have ‘Diversity Statements’

U. Alabama’s Play Productions All Have ‘Diversity Statements’

“…the diversity statements ‘encourage patrons to contemplate issues [of diversity, equity and inclusion] before setting foot in the theater.'”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq-4RI9d_Ng

The University of Alabama’s theater department will add “diversity statements” to all of its productions.

From The College Fix:

Instead of allowing patrons to enjoy and interpret a performance as they wish, the diversity statements “encourage patrons to contemplate issues [of diversity, equity and inclusion] before setting foot in the theater,” The Crimson White reports.

The diversity statement for the play “Pippin” points out that the narration by character “The Leading Player” is done “traditionally” by someone of color; “this is important” for “through The Leading Player’s narration we see them and their inclusive troupe of players shedding light on the privileges that bring Pippin to a state of constant conflict.”

The statement for “Legally Blonde” claims the show “seeks out the merit in diversity so that the entire community can benefit from it.” If a person of color is cast for a role not traditionally created for him/her, that person’s “cultural connotations” will be taken into account and, “if necessary,” the performance altered “to better suit [the person’s] needs and perspectives.”

The absurdity of these statements perhaps comes across best with “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery,” especially given the source material’s monochromatic characters:

[The show] lends itself to open casting where all artists are warmly encouraged to audition. Ken Ludwig’s ​Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery​ is a production that will excitedly benefit from a diverse and inclusive cast with a multitude of various voices to aid in the storytelling process. There are no specific race/ethnicity or other characteristics central to this story. This production is delighted to adapt the original character breakdown that is provided in the script.

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Comments

“the diversity statements ‘encourage patrons to contemplate issues [of diversity, equity and inclusion] before setting foot in the theater.”

Or conversely, turning on their heel and walking in the other direction.

This is like playing Woke Clue. Miss White is Filipino, Professor Plum is actually Doctor Fauci, Colonel Mustard is a Black Panther, the Gun is a Pop Tart, the Poison is HCQ, and Mr. Boddy is Jacob Blake, who (as it turns out) is not even dead at all.

“…so that the entire community can benefit from it.”

what a pretentious premise–how could the ” entire ” community possibly benefit?–whatever dumbass(es) conceived this nonsense they’ve managed to overlook the one component essential to the success of any theatrical production: ” talent ”

of course, if casting is to be determined by ” talent ” then you’d obviously have to consider who is best in a particular role and, heaven forbid, you’re then skating too close to “merit” instead of “color” –so instead you end up with a “colorful” cast who collectively suck and the entire production crashes as a result

    daniel_ream in reply to texansamurai. | September 20, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    Here in Canada, the allegedly internationally reknowned Stratford Festival started pursuing an aggressively diverse casting policy a few years back. Canada is very huwhite, with the result that the Stratford Festival company has been significantly more diverse than the general population for some time.

    This has resulted in casting for colour rather than talent, and the traditional audience for Stratford – wealthy white seniors – staying away in droves. The last in-person season saw ticket prices plummeting below local movie theater seats.

The Friendly Grizzly | September 20, 2021 at 5:56 pm

I hear rumors that their presentation of Othello will include a black cast member.

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